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America and China are one military accident away from disaster


IN AN AGE of superpower rivalry and distrust, it is odd to talk of good fortune smiling on America’s relations with China. But in one important domain, the rivals have shared a long streak of astounding luck. It is two decades since the last fatal encounter between the armed forces of America and China. Today the skies and seas around China swarm with a growing number of planes and warships from each side. In Beijing, scholars and officials talk of when, not whether another accident will occur. Then they wonder how such a crisis would be managed, by two countries locked in open ideological competition and stalked by rising nationalism.The last incident involved a collision betw …

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